3 Home Staging Musts for Your Next Real Estate Sale

3 home staging musts select real estate southwest floridaHome staging is a crucial step in preparing any home for presentation. It doesn’t matter how valuable your property is, without the right presentation it can be a challenge to sell. There are a lot of tips available for home staging and how to go about it, but all of them should touch on 3 essential goals: curb appeal, ambiance, and lifestyle.

Create Love at First Sight

Curb appeal is key to presenting a quality home presentation. It’s the first impression a potential buyer has of your real estate, so you should aim to ensure it’s warm and welcoming. You can achieve that with a well-manicured lawn and a front doorway that is designed to make a potential buyer feel good about “coming home.”

You don’t have to break the bank to do this. Often the difference is in the details. Everything from porch lights and welcome mats to mounting elegant house numbers that complement your home’s style can be transformational. Many of these details you can buy and install yourself on a relatively cheap budget.

Depending on your budget, you can hire a landscaper to spruce up your property or do it yourself if you have a green thumb. It can be as simple as giving your door a fresh coat of paint, adding a few flowers for accent, and giving your driveway a good pressure wash.

Entice the Senses

Remember the 5 senses you learned in elementary school? Sight, sound, touch, smell, and taste are all influential when selling a home to prospect buyers. Pay attention to the ambiance you create. Make it alluring by tapping into the subtle senses that make a room come alive.

Start with sight. Aim for flattering lighting that brightens up the room, and arrange your furniture so that it feels spacious. Downplay the details that give your room too much personality. After all, you want the people touring your home to be able to picture themselves living in it. It’s hard to imagine your own style in a home that reflects someone else’s, so stick with neutral colors and monochromatic furniture.

What about smell? A bad smell can certainly deter potential buyers from your home. You’ll want to eliminate any foul odors before putting your house on the market. However, we encourage you to go the extra mile.

Create an inviting aroma with scented candles, diffusers, or freshly baked cookies. Keep it subtle, as you don’t want to overpower the senses. The focus is the home, not the scent, but a clean or inviting smell can be that background detail that gives a buyer a more intimate connection with your home.

Next, we have touch. Touch stimulates a connection, whether its with people, places, or things. Adding texture through blankets, towels, rugs, tapestries, or other objects can even subconsciously draw the hand, and with it a sense of connection that can help seal the deal.

Sound can be subtle as well. Hanging wind chimes on your back porch or adding a small zen fountain that offers the calming sound of trickling water can put your buyers at ease.

If you really want to impress (especially at an open house), tap into taste with the offer of fresh cookies or candy.

Remember what we said about details being transformative. Homebuyers may like how a home looks, but they make offers on what makes them feel at home.

Sell the Lifestyle

Lastly, think beyond the home. Sell the location, as well! People look for homes that appeal to their lifestyle, so make sure you highlight some of the best features of the area. This includes the quality of the local schools, shopping, entertainment, and commute. Know your buyer and what matters to them, and sell them on the aspects of the area that is relatable to them.

If your home has outdoor areas such as a large backyard, lanais, patios, or dock areas, make sure you play up the potential memories they can offer. Add a grill and some outdoor furniture that set the scene for weekend barbeques. Include a tire swing on that large oak outside or park the boat by the dock so that they can envision themselves fishing in their free time.

Houses impress, but impressions last.

Let Select Real Estate Help You with Your Next Sale

Ready to sell your home? Don’t tackle the task alone. Let Select Real Estate help you get the most out of your property by helping you stage, price, and sell it. We serve both commercial and residential clients in Lee and Collier counties. Simply give our office a call at 239-277-1515.

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Costs to Consider When Buying a Home

costs of buying a home select real estate floridaBuying a home is an exciting milestone in any person’s life. To go from renting an apartment or condo to owning a place of your own can feel like a rite of passage while giving you a more solid sense of home.

But before you put an offer on a house, it’s important to know your budget. We don’t mean just your down payment and closings costs. There are a lot of expenses to consider when buying a home, both in the short-term and the long-term, including taxes, insurance, utilities, and more.

How to Plan Your Homebuying Budget

When you plan your budget, don’t just save for your closing costs and down payment. Factor in an educated breakdown of what your monthly expenses will be. These expenses should include:

  • Your monthly mortgage (including interest)
  • Homeowner’s insurance
  • Private mortgage insurance (if applicable)
  • HOA costs (if applicable)
  • Property Taxes
  • Average cost of utilities

If you aren’t sure where to begin in calculating these numbers, you may want to start by using a mortgage calculator, such as the free-to-use option at SmartAsset.com. Mortgage calculators are easy plug-and-play applications that can help you breakdown your total monthly payment based on:

  • The location of your real estate
  • Home value
  • Mortgage amount
  • Mortgage rate
  • Mortgage term
  • Credit score
  • Monthly prepayment
  • Annual homeowner’s insurance fee
  • HOA fees

You should be able to get the average monthly utility cost of the home you’re looking to buy through your real estate agent. Factor it into your overall monthly budget to get a general estimate of your short-term and long-term costs. It is highly recommended that your overall monthly spending for housing and debts does not surpass 36% of your monthly income. Going beyond this percentage can make it difficult to find a willing lender for your mortgage, as well as make your living expenses more difficult to manage.

Be Mindful of Unexpected Expenses

Even if the home you buy is relatively new, don’t plan what you can afford by assuming that you won’t be making any necessary improvements or repairs. According to the 2016 Zillow Group Report on Consumer Housing Trends, 96 percent of homeowners made some kind of improvement to their home.

Whether you’re looking to remodel, expand, or simply address any necessary repairs, expect your home to have additional costs at some point during the year. How do you budget for this? You may not be able to predict the future, but you can make an educated guess based on today’s trends. U.S. News and World Report states that homeowners spend an average of 1-4 percent of their home’s value each year on maintenance and repairs.

Can I Really Afford a Home?

If these numbers feel daunting, take a step back and consider your income and lifestyle. The size and cost of your home can significantly impact your monthly costs, whether it’s in savings or expenses. By shopping smart and staying within your means, you can purchase a home that suits your budget.

If you’re interested in buying or selling a home in Southwest Florida, reach out to Select Real Estate at 239-277-1515. We can set you up to speak with a real estate agent that can help you find the perfect property based on your budget.

 

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Is It Ever Okay to Waive a Home Inspection?

is it okay to waive home inspection select real estate southwest florida collier leePicture this: you’re in the market for new real estate when you stumble upon what appears to be the perfect home and property. You visit the location with your realtor only to fall deeper in love with it. From the patio view to the luxurious master suite and large bay windows, you suddenly feel as if you can’t picture yourself living anywhere else.

But you aren’t the only one. As you go to bid on this house, you realize there are several other homebuyers making their own competitive offers. You’re told to move quickly if you want it for the home will sell within the next few days. Scrambling to put together an offer, you consider the home inspection step, but it will add time to the transaction.

Should you waive the home inspection and buy anyway?

The Answer Should Always Be No

Simply put, the risk of buying a residential or commercial property without conducting an inspection is a massive financial risk. No matter how beautiful a home looks on the outside, it’s important to know the structural integrity, the health of its plumbing and electric, and whether there are any underlying problems with the structure or property.

Not doing so could lead to major repair or service costs after you’ve bought the home. Imagine discovering asbestos or having to buy a new HVAC system six months after you’ve moved in. Suddenly, one of the largest investments you’ll ever make in your life is costing you thousands of dollars more than you anticipated.

Some problems can be spotted with the naked eye, but many, many more cannot. That’s why it is always essential that you do not waive an inspection when going through the buying process.

Pre-Sale Inspection vs. Buyer’s Inspection

What if the seller has already completed an inspection? It’s a commonly asked question. Many individuals complete an inspection on their home prior to putting it up for sale. This allows them to identify and make any necessary repairs prior to selling the home.

This inspection may be presented to buyers upfront to help give them peace of mind while allowing the sellers to price their home appropriately prior to negotiations. However, there is a downside. The inspector is only liable to the individual who ordered the inspection. In this case, it would be the seller—not the buyer.

Don’t be afraid to spend a couple extra hundred dollars for your own inspection. You’ll give yourself peace of mind should the inspector fail to identify an issue you discover post-purchase.

How to Get an Inspection When the Time Window is Small

So what do you do when you have to move quickly on a sale? The key to a quick sale is maintaining momentum throughout the buying process. This is especially important if you are one of several buyers trying to win a bid on a property.

The answer starts with working alongside a reliable and talented real estate agent who has connections with local inspectors. He or she can write a 1-2 day inspection contingency within your offer to reassure the seller that this process won’t slow the sale down.

It’s easy to stress when you’re going up to bat against several other buyers for what appears to be your dream home. However, it’s important to remember that big purchases such as real estate should never be made recklessly. Always be smart about purchasing assets that can either earn or cost you money in the long run. At the end of the day, dotting your I’s and crossing your T’s can save you thousands, as well as providing you with the satisfaction you seek when buying a new home.

If you’re currently looking to buy or sell your property in Southwest Florida, the experts at Select Real Estate are happy to help. Simply give us a call at 239-277-1515 today!

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Should I Buy a Starter Home or Save for My Dream Home?

should I buy a start home select real estate southwest floridaIt’s a big first time buyer question: Should I buy a starter home or wait and save up for the house I truly want? Starter homes were considered a common and smart investment in past generations. First time buyers viewed it as a great opportunity to build their assets before investing in a larger home that they truly want.

But if your income doesn’t allow you to save money quickly, you may feel like investing your hard-earned down payment budget into a starter home is just pushing you farther away from the dream home you truly want.

The answer to this question isn’t entirely black and white. It requires you to consider several pro’s and con’s in regards to your personal needs and financial situation. However, Select Real Estate has a few tips to help you decide which kind of real estate purchase is the right one for you.

What a Starter Home Purchase Can Do for You

Let us start out by saying that starter homes are not a bad investment. In fact, it can be a great starting asset for certain individuals. The lower cost that these starter homes typically start at make it affordable for individuals to begin building equity, while discovering stability through ownership.

If you buy wisely, your starter home can earn you money in the long run. This is most likely within 3 to 5 years of purchase so long as you invest in a property and location that has the potential of growing in value.

So how do you determine if a property is a good investment? Your answer starts with asking the professionals! Skilled real estate agents and brokers like those we employ at Select Real Estate can help you narrow down properties that have the highest potential of building equity, while warning you about the cons of others. We know how to look at a property’s pro’s and con’s as well as ahead at the area’s growth and demographic to help you make a well-educated decision.

Another advantage is the tax benefits. When you’re renting a location, your monthly payments are simply money in your landlord’s pocket. However, when you purchase a home, the interest on your monthly mortgage payment can be written off at the end of each year.

The Risks and Costs of Starter Home Investments

There are certain risks and costs to consider when you’re purchasing any real estate, starter homes included. If you’re on a tight budget, you need to keep in mind the costs that will continue to arise even after you’ve made your down payment and paid the additional taxes.

Furnishing, landscaping, and any interior updates or refinishes are common out of pocket expenses. Should you purchase a “fixer upper,” you may find those costs increase beyond your budget if unexpected needs or fixes arise.

Making this investment twice (first in a starter home and then again 3 to 5 years later) can end up costing you far more than your expectation or budget desired. If you’re tight on money and you’re expecting to purchase your next home soon after the purchase of a starter, perhaps it may be better to wait and save for what you truly want.

Real Estate is also a market that is constantly changing. That means the value of your home and property isn’t guaranteed. Changes to the market, your neighborhood’s demographic, and general area growth can create unexpected changes to your real estate value—good or bad.

Whether you’re in the market for a starter home or your dream property, give Select Real Estate a call. We have a wide variety of homes and properties available across Collier and Lee County, and the expertise and service to help match you with the right one. You can reach out office at 239-277-1515.

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The Benefits of Investing in Commercial Real Estate

benefits investing commercial real estate select real estate floridaWe often hear about the profitability of “investing in real estate,” but most newcomers tend to focus solely on residential properties when considering this route. There’s nothing wrong with residential investments, of course, yet limiting yourself to home rentals neglects another profitable market: commercial real estate.

Buying commercial real estate can have a great return on your investment (ROI), as well as a few additional risks. That’s why it’s important to do your homework and team up with the right professionals in order to make a good investment.

What is Commercial Real Estate?

Commercial real estate can refer to a large array of property types, including warehouses, office buildings, retail buildings, apartments, industrial buildings, and mixed-use buildings. To put it simply, it’s a location where one does business.

Whether you’re looking to buy commercial real estate to serve as your business location or rent it out to other companies and entrepreneurs to use as their own space, there are a few things you should know about commercial real estate.

Why Should I Invest in Commercial Real Estate?

If you’re looking for the potential to make a great ROI on your real estate, commercial is a great avenue to explore. Individuals with well chosen commercial properties see an average of six to twelve percent return on their purchase price.

How does this compare to a residential property you rent out? A typical ROI for single family homes range between one to four percent. That means even  a great investment will fall short of the average ROI for a commercial investment by at least 2%.

You’ll also find these properties can be much easier to manage. A retail storefront or company office has a business and brand to maintain. They can’t afford to have their location in shabby condition, which means you can count on good tenants to take care of your property.

Plus, business hours typically run between a reasonable scale. That means aside from emergencies, you won’t have to fret about many middle-of-the-night phone calls.

Leases are more advantageous as well. Property owners find themselves responsible for less, as it is common in triple net leases for the lessee to handle property expenses. The property owner typically only has one expense, and that is the mortgage itself.

Considering Commercial Real Estate?

If you’re looking to buy commercial real estate for your business, Select Real Estate has the perfect agent to help you find the right location at the right price. We also help businesses with finding commercial properties to invest in and lease. We even can assist with commercial property management! Give us a call at 239-277-1515 or fill out our contact form to learn more about what our amazing company can offer.

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How to Sell Your Home Quick

how to sell your home quick select real estate naples estero ft myers bonita springs floridaThe Fort Myers Florida Weekly recently reported that 80% of Millennials who don’t own a home plan to buy within the next five years. That makes the young and tech savvy the next hot real estate buyer. What does this mean for you? Whether you’re an agent in the industry or simply a homeowner looking to put up that “For Sale” sign in the next few years, it’s important to know how to market to the next generation of real estate shoppers. Below are a few tips on how you can sell your home quickly by tapping into a Millennial’s buying habits.

Get Listed Online

Millennials are always digitally connected. Technology has made its way into their everyday lives. From pre-ordering books and new gadgets to finding a date and buying a home, they’re accustomed to starting their search online, which is why your home should be listed with a Real Estate Brokerage with a good internet presence and a savvy Real Estate agent.

You could do this yourself, but you really need a quality real estate agent. Creating an online listing for your home isn’t a simple matter of uploading a few snapshots from your phone and adding a price tag.

A good real estate agent will invest the time and money to make sure you have high quality, attractive photos of your home. From the angle to the decor, you want your home to appeal to a large market of buyers. Your agent will keep your presentation neutral while highlighting its best features.

Click here to learn more about how you can prepare your home for sale.

Know What’s Attractive to Today’s Buyers

While the ‘80’s may have been the time for indulgences and rural retreats, today’s generation is looking for simple real estate in the heart of where things happen. Your home doesn’t have to have a dozen rooms equipped with all the bells and whistles, but it does need to be within walking distance of town or community transportation. If it’s not, you may need to be ready to price your property to today’s market and demand.

The key is thinking like a buyer, and not just any buyer—today’s buyer. Find out what about your home, property, and location would appeal to them and really focus on those details. Staying with the interests of today’s buyers is what will expedite your home’s sale.

Make It an Easy Buy

Millennials are short on time. They’re used to working long hours and taking on multiple side projects in addition to their main job. The easier and quicker you make your listing appear to purchase, the better. Don’t sell a “fixer-upper.” Instead, do any major repairs beforehand and sell your home in move-in condition. If you’re really up for a fresh start, consider making your home a turn-key buy. This saves the buyer in additional costs for furniture, appliances, and other necessities, which is an additional appeal for Millennial and seasonal homebuyers alike.

Ready to Hit the Market?

If you’re a Naples or Bonita Springs resident ready to put your home on the market, contact Select Real Estate today. Simply dial 239-277-1515 and we’ll put you in touch with the perfect real estate agent to help you get your home ready and available for sale. While we’re at it, we can even help you find your next dream home so you can start a new chapter. We assist clients all across Lee and Collier counties!

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Select Real Estate’s Stephanie Miller Featured in Estero Life Magazine

select real estate stephanie miller estero life magazine

March Estero Life Magazine cover featuring Select Real Estate Owner Stephanie Miller.

If you pick up a copy of March 2017’s Estero Life Magazine, you may notice a familiar face. Stephanie Miller, owner of Select Real Estate, was featured as the cover story for the magazine due to her remarkable role as a “Pioneer of Real Estate.”

When you read her story, you’ll quickly discover that Estero Life’s description is spot-on. Miller’s ambition and courage helped her breakthrough gender roles and gender boundaries that was still alive and present in the 1980’s. The magazine illustrates the difficult journey where she faced opposition from the starting line, only to rise to the top as a trailblazer for women in the industry.

Of course, times have changed since then and there are a lot more women working real estate than there were nearly 30 years ago. Select Real Estate’s fearless leader recounts her journey in detail, expressing both the challenges and the phenomenal risks and opportunities that led her to today’s success.

Throughout the decades, Miller has watched Collier and Lee County grow tremendously. Her keen mind and smart business decisions helped her grow her business tremendously, even in places where other real estate professionals had their doubts. Her foresight led to great investments, such as buying the unwanted land that would eventually become the Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary we know and love today.

Click here to read her feature in Estero Life Magazine now!

Throughout the years, she’s bought and sold a lot of Estero properties. She’s even on the board to help facilitate the development of the Village of Estero Historic District. It’s easy to see the investment and passion Miller has for Southwest Florida and her local community.

After so many years of having a hand in its growth, she’s showing no sign of slowing down. Her vision for the growth, preservation, and thriving future of this area continue to be fueled by her passion.

And here at Select Real Estate, we work in tandem with her, sharing that passion and love for our community and watching it grow.

If you’re looking to become a resident and are searching for your next home, let’s talk. We’ll be happy to help you find the home of your dreams in this beautiful slice of paradise where men and women have come to enjoy successful and fulfilling lives.

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What to Look for When Buying New Real Estate

buy real estate select real estate naples fort myers bonita springs estero floridaThink you’ve found the perfect property? When you’re looking to buy a new home or purchase a rental property, it’s easy to fall in love with today’s real estate choices. Especially the diverse and beautiful selection found in Naples, Bonita Springs, Fort Myers, and Estero, Florida!

However, you never want to dive headfirst into a sale until you’ve really scoped it out. A good REALTOR® is experienced in looking for certain warning signs that a property may not be worth what it appears to be at first glance. If you think you’ve discovered the best deal on the market, make sure you and your real estate agent run it through this checklist to make sure it is truly as good as it sounds!

Real Estate Buying Rule #1: Location Matters!

Before you start visiting homes for sale, scout out the locations of your preferred listings. This should always be one of your first steps, as an area can influence your property’s value based on crime rate, whether your neighbors are part of the middle or upper class, future developments, and the value of the land the home is built on.

If a home price seems too good to be true and the inspection offers a clean record, it may be the location that’s bringing the price down. This is why you typically want to consider locations early on when browsing available listings. Most real estate agents, such as those here at Select Real Estate, are knowledgeable about the local area and can narrow down your selection to areas that suit your needs.

Real Estate Buying Rule #2: Insist on an Inspection!

Never buy a home without receiving an inspection first. A cheap home may look beautiful on the outside, but hidden problems can quickly run up your bills after purchase through repairs, renovations, and even rebuilding. Avoid the surprises by insisting on a good inspection prior to purchase.

New to real estate buying and looking to make a profit? Click here to learn more about how to make a passive income with rental properties!

Real Estate Buying Rule #3: Make an Offer You Can Invest In

Your property should be a positive investment that builds value, so when it does come time to sell it, you are making money—not losing it. While the tide of real estate value rises and falls, if you make a competitive offer instead of paying too much for a real estate location, you can certainly come out on top. Why? Because when you buy real estate under it’s true value, you’re instantly making a profit. Shop smart, and know the value of working with a professional.

Click here to learn how to choose a good REALTOR®.

Real Estate Buying Rule #4: Align Good Rental Purchases with a Good Property Management Company

If you’re buying property that you plan to rent out to tenants, make sure you have a good grasp on how to gain quality tenants and manage your property. Most owners of rental properties choose to hire a property management company to do the legwork. It’s cost effective and it allows your income to become more passive, while saving you the headaches of dealing with tenants.

Learn the trick to finding a good Property Management Company.

Ready to Start Shopping?

Contact Select Real Estate today. We will set you up with a qualified real estate professional who can help you buy, sell, and/or manage your new property! With so many beautiful locations available locally here in Lee and Collier county, we are bound to find a property that will meet your expectations, at a price that is worth buying.

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3 Reasons to Hire a Realtor for Home Buying or Selling

3 reasons to hire a realtorIt can be profitable to do certain things on your own. That’s why the Do-It-Yourself (DIY) trend is so hot these days! However, just because it saves you money doesn’t mean you should do everything on your own. Sometimes it can be advantageous to hire a professional, and buying or selling a home is one of those instances. Here at Select Real Estate, we always recommend using a REALTOR® when buying, selling, or renting a home.

The list of advantages are long, and well worth the cost. Since time is precious, here are 3 of the most common reasons why individuals prefer hiring a REALTOR® versus hitting the real estate market alone.

A good REALTOR® will save you time.

Need to sell your property fast? Maybe you don’t have time to browse through endless listings in order to find the home you want. Time is money, and a talented REALTOR® will be able to efficiently sell your home, and put together a selection of residential locations that meet your preferences.

He or she has the advantage in connections and experience. They know the right people and have the right resources that are necessary to deliver the results you want. If you’re buying a home, they can weed out certain locations based on your description of what you want and what you don’t, so you don’t have to dig through the “weeds” to find what you’re looking for—your selection is already pre-screened!

When negotiations get tough, a good REALTOR® gets it done.

We all want a home sale or home purchase to go smoothly, but too often that is not the case. All it takes is one disagreement to create a stalemate, halting a transaction in its tracks. After all, everyone wants the best deal. That’s why it often takes a skilled mediator to make sure the negotiations go smoothly, and you get what you want at a fair price.

A good REALTOR® will look out for you to make sure that you get a fair price on a home you’re buying or selling. He or she will represent you in the negotiations so you don’t have to wrestle to get what you want.

A good REALTOR® can sniff out faults in a property that the average buyer can’t.

A seller is trying to get you to buy the home! Unless you’re already in the real estate business, you may not know the right questions to ask in order to make sure there aren’t any underlying problems. Issues such as foundational cracks, poor wiring, or perhaps an AC unit that is on it’s last leg may slip by you until after you’ve made the purchase. Always have a professional home inspection by a licensed inspector. Your REALTOR® can recommend a few good ones.

They also know the area, so that you don’t buy your dream home in a neighborhood that turns out to be a nightmare.

Looking for a good REALTOR®?

Select Real Estate has some of the best staff in the business. We help southwest Florida clients buy and sell their homes at the price they want, when they want. Simply call our office at 239-277-1515 to get started!

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Everything You Need to Know About Homeowners Associations

Select_What is an HOA (2)Homeowners Associations (or HOA’s) are highly common in Florida, especially within condominiums and gated communities. However, not everyone knows exactly what they do. Well, other than charge a fee of course. In reality, Homeowner’s Associations are responsible for many different things, all of which are associated with improving your community’s quality of life.

Below is a breakdown of everything you need to know about HOA’s, including what they do, their pros and cons, and how to decide whether a property with an HOA is right for you.

What is an HOA?

HOA stands for Homeowners Association. Their primary responsibility is to manage building maintenance, amenities, landscaping, and common areas. When a neighborhood has an HOA, it means that everyone is equally responsible for funding the upkeep of their community.

HOA’s charge a fee to homeowners who live in communities that they manage. This fee can vary depending on how upscale the community is, how many amenities it manages, and how much upkeep is necessary to manage the community. On average, the fees can range between $200 to $400 a month. Some communities charge this as a quarterly or annual rate.

In addition to these maintenance responsibilities, HOA’s also establish and manage a set of rules that all residents in the community are required to follow. These rules are known as Covenants, Conditions, and Restrictions, or CC&R’s. These rules can range from what cars are allowed to be parked in your driveway, to the types of trees and ornaments you can plant in your yard.

What are the Pros and Cons of an HOA?

Despite the rules and fees, HOA’s have their benefits. If you’ve ever lived in a community with neighbors who didn’t care for their property, had frustrating habits, or lacked amenities such as pools and clubhouses, an HOA can make all the difference.

HOA’s are active about regulating and enforcing community rules. They make sure everyone abides by the same standards to ensure that the quality of living doesn’t diminish. However, you want to make sure you read the rules and regulations very carefully before buying a property with a HOA, as they should never be taken lightly.

Why? Should a resident refuse to comply with HOA rules and regulations, he or she will incur fines. If HOA fines or fees aren’t paid, your house can be foreclosed upon. You can always attend HOA meetings to share your opinion and participate in the adding and changing of rules, but there’s no guarantee that your suggestions will be approved.

Should I Buy a Property with an HOA?

If you don’t mind living in a regulated community in order to enjoy the benefits of scenic, well-managed landscaping, shared amenities, and rules that protect against noise pollution and bad neighborly habits, then living in a community with an HOA can be a positive experience. However, keep in mind that not all HOA’s are the same. The rules and regulations can vary greatly from one location to the next, so pay attention to what you’re signing up for to make sure it suits your personal lifestyle.

If you enjoy the freedom of being able to do whatever you please on your own property, buying a home in a neighborhood managed by an HOA may not be the best fit for you. While HOA’s exist to benefit the residents of the community, they do stand above your rights as a homeowner. At the end of the day, you have to play by the rules.

Who to Contact When You’re Ready to Buy a Home

Whether you want to buy a home with or without an HOA, Select Real Estate can help. We have several beautiful homes available to choose from in Bonita Springs, Naples, and Estero. Simply give us a call at 239-277-1515. We will match you with an agent that will help you find your next “home sweet home.”

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How to Make a Passive Income with Rental Properties

how to make a passive incomeThe real estate market isn’t just for those looking to buy or sell their home. Purchasing rental properties can produce a lucrative income for the smart investor. However, you don’t want to be clumsy in this process.

If done poorly, buying and managing a property can turn into a real headache. That’s why it’s important to be shrewd in your investment. Select Real Estate shows you how to make a stress-free, passive income with rental properties with these essential tips.

Choose Your Property Wisely

Rental prices have experienced a significant rise over the last few years, making owning quality rental properties a great investment. When you’re shopping for a property to buy and rent out to prospective tenants, think about what you’re purchasing and where it’s located. Seek out an area where rentals are in high demand. This will ensure that you never have difficulty finding new tenants when you need them.

Avoid buying in low-income areas, too. Not only does this result in a lower property value and monthly rent, but it also increases your odds of attracting the wrong kind of tenant. You don’t want that kind of headache. Instead, look for middle-to-high class locations. Naples, Bonita Springs, and Estero are three excellent places for Southwest Florida investors to buy properties for rent.

Don’t Buy into a Big Project Unless You’re Ready for It

If you really want your rental property to bring in a passive income, avoid purchasing a “fixer-upper” unless you’re willing to put in the time and money to remodel and repair it. While rentals do provide a monthly income whenever you have tenants to fill it, the owner is responsible for managing and repairing anything that goes wrong with the home or property. This can prove to be a stressful experience on you and your wallet, especially if renting and managing properties isn’t your only day job.

Plus, not every “fixer-upper” is what it seems. What you believe is a cheap steal may end up costing you more than you anticipated as you begin to discover hidden problems. In the long run, you may spend more bringing a rundown property back to life than it’s worth once you start bringing in rent checks. Instead, save yourself the trouble by saving up your money to buy a nicer property that will require far less work and maintenance.

Hire a Property Management Company

Next, eliminate the stress of management by hiring a property management company. These companies will truly make your rental income passive by taking care of finding and managing the tenants on your property. A good property management company handles most of the management process, such as:

• Advertising and Filling Vacancies
• Screening Tenants
• Signing Leases
• Coordinating Repairs
• Collecting Rent

Like your search for a good rental property, finding the right property management company requires research. Consider these tips on finding a quality property management company, then give Select Real Estate a call. From searching and buying rental properties to helping you manage it, we do it all for our Southwest Florida clients.

Screen Your Tenants Like Rebekah—Or Enlist Her Help!

Once you buy a quality rental property, you have to find someone to rent it. We recommend you call Rebekah Sidener at Select Real Estate. Rebekah will then look for quality tenants for your property. Trust us when we say the right people renting your property makes all the difference.

Finding a quality tenant involves thorough research and screening, which Rebekah has down to a science. She will run credit reports and criminal background checks on every tenant prior to accepting them. Beyond that, she will do a thorough review of all of their references, including their prior landlords, and review their eviction history reports to make sure they don’t have a record of bad tenancy.

Rebekah’s interview process doesn’t leave anything out. She will go in-depth on how your potential tenant kept their past rentals. Were they clean and mindful of those properties? How well did they communicate with their prior landlords? Were they timely in their payments? How they treated the properties and management where they lived in before is a direct indicator of how they will treat yours.

A step that Rebekah also never skips is verifying the tenant’s income with their employer. If at any point she finds discrepancies in the information the potential tenant has provided you, she will not accept them. The reason for this is simple: if they lie on the application, it is likely they will lie about other things, too.

Select Real Estate’s advice is to avoid month-to-month leases. Instead, aim for long-term contracts, such as annual rentals. This will prevent having to search for new tenants more than is necessary.

Do you have questions about buying property and getting into the rental market? Call Select Real Estate at 239-277-1515 and let’s talk about your new business ventures! We’re here to help you succeed.

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How to Build a Positive Relationship with Your Landlord

 

how to positive relationship landlordWhen you’re renting, you want to build a good rapport with your landlord. A positive relationship will not only make your renting experience a smooth one, but it will also provide a positive reference for future renting opportunities. Whether you rented a location for a short period of time or a much longer duration, future landlord’s will want prior landlords’ feedback.

Here is a step-by-step guide to building a beneficial relationship with your landlord during every step of the rental process:

Giving a Good First Impression While Viewing

Many prospect renters aren’t thinking about building rapport and relationships while shopping for a new place to rent. After all, you typically go through a real estate company or agent before you even meet the landlord of a property. However, first impressions matter.

The real estate agent you’re working with is the liaison between you and the landlord you will be renting from. Since the landlord is his or her client, they will be attentive toward signs that will indicate what kind of renter you will be. Make sure you start things off right with a polite, professional, and friendly demeanor.

When viewing, dress well and show up on time. Remember it’s also your time to evaluate who you’re renting from, too. Ask the right questions, such as when the last time the location was sprayed for bugs or how old the building is, and whether lead is present. If the answers you receive are vague, or if you find the follow-ups to be slow or difficult to receive, beware! Responsiveness and professionalism on their end matters, too. You don’t want these habits to echo into your renting experience.

Acing the Application Process

Once you’ve chosen a location to rent, the next step is often the application process. This lease application is important, especially if you’re looking at a competitive renting area. Be swift and efficient when filling out and returning this application.

You should expect questions that verify your income, credit, and a request for references from prior landlords, as well as personal references. Be diligent when reading over the lease agreement. Make sure you understand exactly what you’re signing up for, and whether there are any restrictions, procedures, or fees that may be deal breakers (IE: restrictions on pets, pet size, or breed).

Some elements are negotiable, so don’t be afraid to ask questions.

Once You’ve Moved In

Okay, so you’ve been chosen as a tenant! Congratulations! However, don’t think that just because you’re “in,” you can bend the rules. Make it a point to serve as a model tenant. How you care for the unit, treat your neighbors, follow procedures, and address concerns matters.

Always pay your rent on time. This is a very important matter in your tenant-landlord relationship. There may be rare instances where something impedes you from paying by the due date. If this issue arises, communicate early and directly with your landlord, and put together a plan that will get the payment in ASAP, and prevent similar issues from occurring in the future. Being proactive as a tenant in meeting your responsibilities will go a long way in your relationship with your landlord.

Ask for permission prior to doing any sort of renovations, big or small. Even if you think they are helpful changes, such as replacing knobs or painting a room, make sure you get approval first. At the end of the day, good communication always goes a long way.

Telling Your LandLord You’re Moving Out and Moving On

Landlords often prefer to keep good tenants long-term, but life happens. You may choose not to renew a lease, or get a job offer that takes you out of the area. Whatever your reason for parting ways with a landlord and rental property, give at least a 30 day notice.

If for some reason you have to break a lease before its term is over, approach your landlord and discuss your options. Even when a lease is strict, there are ways out, including subletting or seeing if you can move from one property the landlord owns to another. Either way, you won’t know until you have that conversation.

Be mindful of the responsibilities and procedures you agreed to, and always do a thorough clean of the rental property prior to dropping off your keys and leaving. Your actions throughout this relationship will follow you into new relationships, so it’s important to keep it positive.

Looking to Rent a Home or Unit in Southwest Florida?

Talk to Select Real Estate about what is currently available in the area. We currently cover a wide range of residential, commercial, and property management locations across North Naples, Bonita Springs, Estero, and Fort Myers. Simply give us a call at 239-277-1515 to learn more!

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How to Choose the Right Commercial Property Management Company

commercial real estate company select real estateThe value of your commercial property is directly affected by the commercial property management company that manages it. It’s a bold statement, but it’s 100% true. Having a strong team of professionals managing your company’s operations, upholding tenant satisfaction, and maintaining your property’s value will not only keep you in business, it will help it grow.

Hiring a team that doesn’t? Beware, for every commercial property is only as good as the people who run it.

So how do you ensure you hire the right team for the job? There are certain questions you should always ask a company prior to hiring them. Explore beyond their marketing pitch. Ask pinpointing questions and do your research to determine whether or not you’re on the same page.

Seek out Testimonies, Reviews, and References

When evaluating a commercial property management company’s skills, don’t just take their word for it. Ask for references. Any credible business would be happy to provide contact information for current or past clientele who can provide you a firsthand testimony of their experience. While you have their attention, request examples of their “success stories” as well.

Research is also essential. Google their social media and online presence to see what reviews and testimonials are available. Are they certified? Who are they affiliated with? Do they manage multiple commercial properties already? How long have the owner and property managers been in business? Search for evidence of experience, qualification, and proven success.

Do they Deliver All the Necessary Management Services?

The right commercial property management company will market vacancies, screen for quality tenants, maintain your commercial property through preventative maintenance, and have a strict policy and procedure for contract terms, rent collection, and deposits. Ensure they offer:

An Efficient Maintenance Staff. Can you count on them to respond to tenant needs swiftly and efficiently? Are work orders properly documented and managed? A well-defined and well-executed process to responding to tenant needs is essential.

A Strong Record of Tenant Retention. A high turnover is a warning sign of poor management.

Consistent Financial Reporting. Organization will be self-evident through consistent reporting and numbers. Do they provide monthly reports? Do they consistently stay within their client’s budget?

Resources to Help Keep Costs Low. Do they have a network of local businesses that can help keep your Common Area Maintenance (CAM) and Taxes & Insurance (TI) low?

All of these questions matter when determining the quality of the business you’ll be working alongside.

The Right Commercial Property Management Company for SWFL

Are you a business in Southwest Florida searching for a commercial property management company to help you with your business? Start your search by considering Select Real Estate’s commercial property services. Put us to the test. We’re bound to impress you.

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Why 2016’s Buying Market Makes Now the Time to Sell

why  now is the time to sell select real estateRent rates are up. Mortgage rates are down. More incentives are available for first-time home buyers than before. Tack on the slight but steady incline in housing prices, and it’s no surprise why 4 out of 5 homeowners are saying now is the time to buy—and sell!

Why Many Homeowners Want to Sell and Buy in 2016

Since 2016 began, homeowners in southwest Florida have witnessed a dramatic increase in the equity of their homes and properties. This added value has created a sense of money in their pocket, as well as spark an eagerness to see what’s available on the current housing market. It’s a profitable interest. One that’s doing more than simply increase the number of real estate buyers.

The sell and upgrade (or downsize) inclination is opening up new listings as homeowners look to turn a profit on their current properties. With houses selling quickly as of late, the opportunistic itch is feeding what is currently a slim market.

Expect Most of 2016’s Buyers to Be 35 and Older

If you work within the real estate market, you may want to take note of your demographics. Despite the positive forecast on real estate, you won’t find a lot of young buyers. The reason is being tacked upon the burden of student debt. With so many 20-somethings struggling under the weight of high dollar loans with high interest rates, they are wary of taking on even more debt.

That is assuming that they even can. Acquiring a mortgage has grown to be an extensive process. Especially if you don’t have the money saved up for a down payment. While there are certain programs to help those who lack upfront funds to purchase a home, they come with certain rules and restrictions. Many of those restrictions may narrow down the type of home you can buy and even where.

So as home prices are starting to rise again, many members of the younger generations are holding out on buying homes. Even with the astronomical rise in rental rates.

Looking to Sell Your House or Find a New One?

Perhaps you’re looking to do both! If you’re in the market to buy or sell a home in Fort Myers, Estero, Naples, or the surrounding areas, Select Real Estate can help. Pick up the phone and call us at 1-239-277-1515 or fill out our contact form. Our team of professionals will be happy to assist you throughout the entire home buying or selling process.

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How Brexit is Making American Housing More Affordable

brexit select real estateThe effects of Brexit have rippled beyond the United Kingdom and onto American soil in many ways. Some of them are positive, including a reduction in mortgage rates that is making American housing even more affordable than before. It’s a side effect that is benefiting many United States citizens, especially now that other factors are making renting property far less appealing than ownership.

Why Renting is Becoming Impractical

When we think of renting, we typically categorize it as a cheaper alternative to buying a home. Right? Well, not anymore. Rising rent rates are putting millions of Americans in difficult straights and that number is rising every year. It’s a trend that has caused financial strain for not just low income individuals, but middle class citizens as well.

According to CNN Money, a record-breaking 21.3 million Americans are spending 30% or more of their paycheck on rent. That is the same or more than financial experts recommend you budget each month for housing costs. So why is this happening?

It’s because the rising cost of rent is escalating faster than the general increase of wages. This problem is plaguing many individuals and families as they are forced to cut back in other areas, including entertainment, food, clothing, and even emergency needs.

How Does Brexit Make Home Buying Cheaper?

Thanks to Brexit, the yield on the U.S. 10-year Treasury dropped to 1.45%. Because this treasury is used as a benchmark for consumer loans, its decrease in turn caused a drop in the average fixed mortgage rate.

Now a 30-year fixed mortgage averages a rate of 3.48% and a 15-year mortgage has dipped to an average of 2.78%, making now a good time for anyone who is shopping for a home to make a purchase.

Does Brexit’s Benefits Have You Eager to Buy?

If you’re interested in buying a home, start by knowing your credit score. This will determine what kind of mortgage rates you can qualify for prior to shopping for a home. You will then want to determine a budget for how much you can afford. Try to save up around 20% of your budgeted home price for the down payment.

Once you have a financial plan, you can approach an agent to help you search for a home. If you’re looking for a home in Naples, Estero, Fort Myers, or the surrounding southwest Florida area, you don’t have to search alone. Simply contact Select Real Estate to get started.

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5 Open House Tips When Selling Your Home

5 Open House Tips by Select Real EstateYou may have a lovely home. It may have features that are perfect for first-time homebuyers, families, or retirees. However, those selling points may not be apparent at first glance, and if there are detractors in your home you may never have the chance to showcase your property’s finest features.

Select Real Estate offers 5 affordable open house tips to spruce up your home before an open house so you make a lasting impression.

Visitors Will Judge Your Home by Its Exterior

Curb appeal is everything. Make sure you give your home’s exterior the TLC it needs to look its best. You don’t have to spend a fortune, but make note of the little things. A freshly painted door can change the very ambiance of your home’s entrance. Touch up any paint flaking on your garage door or around your windows. If you have a patio, dress it up a bit with a few potted plants and nice outdoor furniture. Brushing up on a few little details will go a long way in giving your home a fresh, new impression.

Spice Up the Kitchen

A great kitchen can sell a home. If you’re going to invest in any renovations, it should start here. Today’s buyers are drawn to stainless steel appliances, good lighting, and appealing counter space and cabinets. Even a new coat of paint (are you seeing a trend here?) can go a long way in freshening up old cabinets. Aim for a clean design that doesn’t subscribe to a theme that may have a niche. Not everyone will share your tastes. It’s important to try to make your home neutrally appealing so that your prospect buyers can envision bringing their own personality into the home they’re buying.

If Your Furniture Looks “Broken In,” Slip On a Cover Up

We all have that one spot that’s our favorite. If your couch or chair looks a bit stained, threadbare or broken in, consider buying a slipcover for it. This simple cover up will hide little imperfections that can steal attention from a home’s finer features. Plus, it’s more affordable than buying brand new furniture! Especially if you like what you have already.

Present Your Bedroom and Bathroom as a Place to Stay In

Your bedroom may feel like a personal space, but when you’re selling your house everything is on display. Take the time to make it presentable, as if a guest was coming to stay and they would be using your bedroom and bathroom. Clean linens, a well-made bed, and a room cleansed of clutter can go a long way. Put away scattered items or books and organize your vanity and bathroom counter so that it has a hotel-style appeal. Accent pillows can also dress up a bed and make it feel more inviting.

Touch Up the Scuffs in Every Room

Still have an “X” on the wall from the kids’ last misguided treasure hunt? Maybe you noticed a scuff or two behind the doors or near the furniture. Take an eagle eye to each room and touch up these little blemishes just like you did with the exterior. The same goes for hardwood floors or spotty carpets. It’s a lot cheaper than replacing them or repainting entire rooms.

Need Help Selling Your Home?

It’s always easier to sell a home when you have the experts on your side. If you’re trying to sell property in Collier County or Lee County, then consider tapping into the resource of our Seller Services. We’ll help you with the prep work, marketing, showcasing, and regulating the selling process so that you can sell your home swiftly, and at the best price possible.

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Why Rising Rent Rates Make Now the Time to Buy

rising rent rates make now the time to buy select real estateHaving trouble finding an affordable place to rent in Naples, Bonita Springs, or Estero? If you’ve been browsing the market only to get the disheartened feeling that prices have gone up significantly, it isn’t just you. The Wall Street Journal reported that rental costs have risen faster in 2015 than they have in eight years, averaging at an overall 4.6% increase. That’s nearly 2% above the annual percentage that rent prices have increased each year for the past 15 years. It’s a trend that doesn’t seem to show any sign of slowing as new rental construction lessens while the demand for available rentals grows.

However, the market remains favorable for first-time homebuyers. Consider these advantages:

Interest Rates are Low

For many individuals, high interest rates on prior loans have made them timid about new debt. However, there’s good news in today’s market! New fixed rates are available that dip well below 4 percent. You can find yourself with a monthly mortgage that is more affordable than renting.

Mortgages Have Clearer Terms

The implementation of TRID has required increased transparency about the terms of your mortgage loan via loan estimates and closing disclosures that help you understand interest rates, monthly payments, and closing costs. It’s never been this easy to understand what you’re getting into.

You Reap Tax Benefits

When was the last time you benefitted from renting? When you buy a home, the U.S. Tax Code allows you to deduct the interest you pay on your mortgage, your property taxes, and even a few other select costs that come with buying a home.

Homes Build Equity

Unlike a lease or a loan, buying a home isn’t simply throwing money out. Every time you pay on your mortgage, you’re investing in something that builds you equity that appreciates in the long-term. According to the National Association of REALTORS®, median single-family sized home prices have increased an average of 5.2% annually between the years of 1972-2014. Even in recent years when the housing market was less profitable, we still see values cumulatively increased 7%, and is projected to continue to rise over the next decade.

We Answer Buyer’s Questions

If you have questions about the buying market in Southwest Florida or would like to know what options are available to you on your income as a first-time homebuyer, contact us! Select Real Estate is here to help you find the right home at a price you can afford.

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How to Choose a REALTOR®

how to choose a realtor select real estateThe decision to buy a home can be one of the greatest long-term investments you make. In some cases it is cheaper than renting, and if you shop wisely that investment can later turn into a profitable return. If you’ve already gone through the 5 things all new home buyers should consider and you’re ready to start shopping, the next step is to choose a REALTOR®.

But how do you know when you’ve found the right one? Choosing a good REALTOR® can be tricky. The buying process can vary from home-to-home, so it’s important to find an experienced professional capable of negotiating on your behalf to get you the best price and buying experience possible.

What is a REALTOR’S® Responsibility?

Before you choose a REALTOR®, you need to know what he or she is responsible for. That way you know whether or not they are qualified to help you find your dream home.

A good real estate agent facilitates your buying experience every step of the way. From helping you scout and shop various properties to making an offer and closing the deal. They should be invested in you, for most real estate agents do not receive compensation until your transaction is complete.

It’s important to note that not every real estate agent or broker is a REALTOR®. Be sure to get clarification first and ensure that they are licensed. REALTORS® are sworn to a stringent code of ethics that promote fair and honest practices. They are also members of the National Association of REALTORS®.

How to Choose a REALTOR®

Good REALTORS® have a strong reputation within the community. Interview your options prior to committing and get to know what their training, experience and certifications are and you will be on the right track.

If you’re looking for a Florida real estate agent or broker to help you get into your dream home, then start by calling Select Real Estate at 239-277-1515. Active within the North Naples, Bonita Springs, Estero, and Fort Myers markets, they are dedicated to quality service and can provide you with a wealth of information on local schools, area amenities, as well as other information that is crucial when shopping for a new place to call home.

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Consider These 3 Reasons to Spring into Home Buying Now!

spring into  home buying select real estateAs winter thaws under the press of warmer weather, more people are considering knocking the purchase of a new home off their resolution list.

Indeed, there are several advantages to springing into the housing market early this season.

If you are thinking about investing in a new home or property in 2016 but haven’t gotten around to getting started, then consider these 3 motivational reasons to stop procrastinating.

The Early Bird Gets the Worm 

Like anything you shop for, the value of a good home will fluctuate based on supply and demand. Start early and you’ll have a better selection. Also, beating the crowd to the housing market will increase your odds of getting a better price on the house. With prices predicted to rise 3% within the next year, you’ll want to buy sooner rather than later.

 Get in on Something New

New homes and neighborhoods are cropping up all the time in Southwest Florida, and new developments often will offer deals to help populate a new community. While brand new homes can be more expensive than buying a resale, they also come bundled with warranties that protect you from major repair bills for the first few years after purchase, which can be a money-saver in the long run.

As with any location, you will want to consider the demographic and resale value, but if you buy smart you may find new homes can have a great return on investment.

 Take Advantage of Today’s Mortgage Rates

Mortgage rates are expected rise as the year goes on. Projections anticipate the rates to reach 4.65% by year’s end, which means the earlier you apply the better! Be open minded about different types of mortgage options while taking advantage of today’s lower interest rates. Doing so can save you thousands!

 Ready to Start Shopping?

If you’re a home buyer looking to browse the market, let Select Real Estate guide you in your search! With over 35 years invested in serving Southwest Florida’s real estate market, you can count on us to make your hunt for a Lee County or Collier County home stress-free.

Call us at 239-277-1515 or fill out our contact form to get in touch.

 

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5 Things All First Time Home Buyers Should Consider

SelectRe_5 Things First Should ConsiderFor first time home buyers, purchasing a house can feel overwhelming. Unlike renting, buying a home involves a long-term commitment. You’re investing in a property in exchange for a sense of permanency and ownership that is an exciting chapter for many individuals and families.

Like your first date, your first job or your first drink, it’s a milestone that will have you giddy with excitement and anxious of the unknown. You’ll chew on countless questions when buying your first home. From finances and budget to community and lifestyle, you quickly realize that there’s more to consider than what is beyond the doorway.

So where do you start?

Ask yourself: what can I afford?

This is typically the most obvious question, but it is also a pivotal one. One of the most common mistakes first time home buyers make while shopping for a house is that they only consider the expense of the purchase. However, there are several expenses to consider, including:

  • Closing Costs
  • Down Payment
  • Interest
  • Taxes
  • Insurance
  • Utility Costs
  • Cost of Living
  • Daily Commute

Before you even begin shopping for homes, sit down and map out your monthly budget. How much money can you put down on a home, and how much can you afford to spend a month in payments and living expenses? Having a concrete number will help you narrow the scope of what homes you can afford and where. You never want to spend above your means so ensure you’re financially ready to put 20 percent down on a house with a financial cushion beyond the monthly costs before making a purchase.

Am I Willing to Commit?

Buying a house is a long-term investment. You may not grow old in your first home, but you should anticipate remaining there for at least 5 years if you intend to earn back your expenses when you sell the property. If you’re still restless and anticipate moving within the next few years, then perhaps you should hold off on buying a home for now.

However, if you’re ready to settle down, then now is the perfect time to find and buy a home in southwest Florida!

Consider the Neighborhood and Surrounding Area

Don’t just look for your dream home. Make sure that it’s in a good location. Your property’s financial value and your quality of living will depend heavily on the environment you live in. Here are a few questions to consider:

  • Is the home part of an HOA? If so, read the contract carefully to ensure you’re okay with the terms of the agreement.
  • How far is the commute to work? If you spend half your day driving to and from work, the travel cost and time lost may not make the home worth it.
  • What is the neighborhood like? Consider the community the house resides in. What is the social class and average age of the residents in your neighborhood? The right house in the wrong neighborhood can make for a sour experience, and it can affect your property value as the years pass.
  • Does the community fit my needs? When you buy a house, you’re buying a ticket into a new community as well. Consider both current and future needs. Is it close to the culture, food, shopping, school systems, and recreational activities that are part of your desired lifestyle?

Only Buy What You Can Commit To

Homes are more than just a financial investment. They require both maintenance and upkeep. Consider how much time you spend at home. If your career has you on the road or your hobbies keep you out and about, then a condo might be better than a large home with a high maintenance yard.

Explore Your Incentives

There are several different incentives and opportunities for first time home buyers. While getting a mortgage is harder than it used to be, there are other options.

Ready to Buy a Home?

Select Real Estate is dedicated to helping residents buy and sell property in Collier County and Lee County. Contact us today to explore your options! You may be phone call away from discovering your dream home…

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What to Look for in a Property Management Company

What to look for in a property management company select real estateWhen it comes to Property Management in Florida, reputation matters. You want to go with the company who has a positive history with past clients and will deliver the results you seek. Never make a rushed decision. Instead, do your research to make sure who you hire is equipped to suit your needs.

What Does Property Management Entail?

Property management encompasses several different areas, including marketing, human relations, financial and administrative services, and property maintenance. The skills it takes to build a diverse team that will grow your business will come from experienced professionals.

From ensuring that your property remains in compliance with local, state, and federal laws to planning operations and emergency procedures, your property management company should know the in’s and out’s. They should be able to help you build a comprehensive management plan that will build your location’s brand and increase your property value.

Always Look for License and Certification

Always, always validate that the company you’re working with has an active license and/or certification. Finding this information is simple and will help you weed out those companies who are not qualified to deliver the service you need.

Also, don’t be afraid to ask questions. In fact, ask a lot of questions. About.com offers two excellent lists of questions to ask when interviewing property management candidates:

Questions to Ask about Experience, Education, and Retaining Tenants

Questions to Ask about Fees, Processes, and Maintenance

Make a checklist prior to the interview so you can evaluate what you’ve learned after the meeting.

Select the Best

Are you just beginning your search for a property management company? Start with us. Select Real Estate and Select Asset Management deliver a broad range of services from home buying and selling to property management. Our expert staff is licensed in the state of Florida to manage Community Associations, HOA Associations, Condominium Associations, as well as Portfolios.

We’ve been serving southwest Florida for over 35 years, building a sterling reputation among both our clients and the community. We truly believe you won’t find a better team in Lee County or Collier County. Simply give us a call at 239-277-1515 or fill out our contact form to learn how we can help you reach your goals.

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How to Sell Your House during the Holidays

how to sell your home during the holidaysTrying to sell your house during the holidays can be a challenge! The winter season is considered a slow period for home sales. However, Naples and other southwest Florida real estate locations are at a unique advantage. Currently, in southwest Florida tis not only the season for giving, but also for snowbirds! As Florida fills up with its seasonal residents, the demand for available residences increases while the supply dwindles Sat’s why Select Real Estate has put together the ultimate tip list on how to put together the perfect “home package” that will increase the odds of selling your property this holiday.

 “Pump up the Curb Appeal”

This is your homes 1st Impression to prospective buyers!
Homes with high curb appeal command higher prices and take less time to sell.
Here are some great ways to put your home’s best face forward!

Dress up your home—make it picture perfect!

Everyone loves a bit of holiday cheer. When you deck the halls, make sure you choose your holiday decorations carefully. While we all love a personal touch like homemade ornaments and gingerbread houses, you want to make sure your home appeals to a vast range of buyers. Keep your décor tasteful and aesthetically pleasing. Get creative and use garland, tinsel, and other décor to accent selling features such as a fireplace. Then take photos! Pictures are often your first impression with potential buyers so you want them to look spectacular.

Grow your exposure with online listings.

These days there’s an app for everything, and everyone is browsing on the go. Web listing sites such as Trulia, Zillow, and Hotpads can help get your home in front of searching eyes. Talk to your real estate agent about getting your house listed online.

Make the price irresistible.

Like Black Friday, the holidays are full of exceptional deals. Consider your home’s worth and price competitively. With rentals and home prices increasing during season, you can still earn a profit while creating an enticing price tag.

Hire a talented real estate agent who will help push your deadline.

When you put your house on the market, it’s important to have a good voice pitching your sale. Select Real Estate houses agents that know how to highlight the best features of your home to prospect buyers and will work diligently to help you sell your home.

If you’re looking to put your property on the market, now is the time to get started. Select Real Estate helps residents across southwest Florida, across the country, and internationally buy and sell homes.  Give our Estero real estate office a call today at 239-277-1515!

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Preparing Your Home for Sale

before you sell your home select real estateAre you a Southwest Florida homeowner ready to put your house on the market? Now is a great time to do so as more new residents settle into Lee and Collier Counties. Home values are increasing along with the demand, but that doesn’t mean you can simply list your property and expect someone to buy it. Preparing your home for sale takes time and effort to make it buyer-ready. That’s why Select Real Estate has put together an easy-to-read checklist to help you through the process.

Declutter and Depersonalize Your Home

Throughout the years, you’ve turned your house into a home through family heirlooms, photographs, and décor. However, you want the potential buyers touring your property to picture themselves living inside the house, not the family currently within it. Take time to go through every room, stripping it of its “you” factor and allowing the rooms to reflect their function, not their current owner. A few ways to do this are:

  • Start packing away family photographs, collections, trophies, and awards
  • Store any personal items that strangers with differing opinions may find distractive
  • Make sure everyday items such as toiletries, kitchen utensils, and toys are out of sight
  • Cleanse your home of clutter, leaving only functional items and light, neutral décor
  • If your walls feature colors that are bold and distracting, repaint with a more neutral tone
  • Clean, clean, clean! Treat your home like a showroom. Organize your closets and pantries, keep your counters, refrigerator and furniture clean, and remove any pet smells or foul odors

Remember, you want your presentation to appeal to a broad audience of buyers, not just a select group who share your lifestyle. Start with one room at a time until you’ve completed this process throughout the entire house. Decluttering along the way helps you two-fold in that it removes any excess you wouldn’t want to bring with you into your new home when you move.

Complete Any Necessary Repairs

Chances are there are a few repairs you need to do before your house is ready to go on the market. Complete a thorough inspection of your home and make any minor repairs that may be needed. This includes (but is not limited to):

  • Leaky faucets
  • Stained carpets
  • Dents, holes, and scuffs in the walls
  • Faulty lighting or burnt bulbs
  • Broken tile, missing caulk, or dirty grout

These repairs matter. Many home buyers are skeptical. If they spot something in need of minor repair, they may begin to wonder what else is wrong with the home. Fixing these problems now will help polish your home’s presentation and eliminate any minor nuisances that may prevent a sale.

Create Curb Appeal

Despite our parents telling us never to judge a book by its cover, what’s on the outside of a home truly matters. Curb appeal is one of the most important enhancements you can make. Consider a few of these profitable statistics:

  • An appealing landscape can add up to 14% to your home’s value
  • A new front door can add 3 times the value of the door to your house
  • Washing a home’s exterior can add up to $15,000 to the price of some properties

While this is certainly an investment, the return is worthwhile. Combining these profitable upgrades can quickly increase the value of your house, making it easier to sell while giving you more money to invest in your next dream home.

Hire an Agent to Help Sell Your Home

Select Real Estate is experienced in helping clients handle every aspect of the sales process, from marketing and showcasing to processing the necessary paperwork by your closing date. Our complimentary Comparative Market Analysis (CMA) can help you determine the value of your home. Simply call us at our Estero real estate office at 239-277-1515 and we’ll help you get your house on the market!

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